Scrumhalf Piri Weepu will start for the All Blacks against the Springboks this Saturday.
Weepu replaces incumbent No 9 Aaron Smith, who was ineligible for a starting role at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium because of a breach in discipline following last Saturday’s Test against Argentina. According to Fairfax NZ News, Smith’s infraction involved him arriving back to the team hotel after the game past the team-imposed curfew.
Weepu may not boast Smith’s speed but it is his physicality that the All Blacks will look to harness in a bloody battle with the Boks.
In other changes, Liam Messam replaces Victor Vito on the blindside flank, while lock Sam Whitelock and hooker Andrew Hore also start.
New Zealand – 15 Israel Dagg, 14 Cory Jane, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Ma’a Nonu, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Aaron Cruden, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Richie McCaw (c), 6 Liam Messam, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Andrew Hore, 1 Tony Woodcock
Subs: 16 Keven Mealamu, 17 Charlie Faumuina, 18 Brodie Retallick, 19 Victor Vito, 20 Aaron Smith, 21 Beauden Barrett, 22 Tamati Ellison